COVID-19 and Diabetes

Coronavirus-Public-Image_460x460The pandemic that has infiltrated the lives of millions of people worldwide, COVID-19, doesn’t play well with preexisting health conditions, including diabetes and hypertension, which are all too common in our population. Research studies over the past months have shown that people with underlying health conditions who contract the virus are likely to experience more serious complications and require hospitalization. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and/or someone you know with diabetes.


Plan Ahead

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests that you plan before you get sick. Have phone numbers of your health care providers, pharmacy and insurance handy. Make a list of your medications and keep them with you, and give a copy to a loved one in case something were to happen. Try to keep an extra supply of your prescriptions, insulin, rubbing alcohol, soap and groceries. Monitor your blood sugar levels closely and take appropriate steps to correct the highs and the lows. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or haven’t had an appointment with your doctor in the last three months, schedule a video visit with your doctor to help ease your mind. If you have a loved one with diabetes, offer to help him or her get prepared.

“About 25–30% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have diabetes.” - Kathleen Dungan, MD, Endocrine Society Podcast

Protect Yourself

The ADA also recommends the same everyday precautions mentioned since the beginning of this pandemic. Clean your hands often with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face and high-touch surfaces, and disinfect frequently used items such as cellphones. Avoid non-essential travel and crowds. If you must go out, please keep 6 feet apart and wear a mask.

Know the Symptoms

Above all, if you feel like you’re developing symptoms of COVID-19, please call your doctor. These symptoms may appear 2 – 14 days after exposure to the virus: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell. If you develop any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19, please get medical attention immediately: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to awaken, and/or bluish lips or face. This list is not all-inclusive. Consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Stay hydrated, stay healthy and stay home as much as possible.

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